Wednesday, May 1, 2019 6:40 pm
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, says the new minimum bill signed into law by the President Muhammadu Buhari has granted Nigerian workers a new Minimum Wage and a legislated period of review.
Ngige said this in a message to workers during the 2019 May Day Celebration on Wednesday in Abuja.
The theme of the Workers Day is ‘’Another 100 Years of Struggle for Jobs, Dignity and Social Justice in Nigeria’’.
Ngige, represented by Prof. Stephen Ocheni, Minister of State in the Ministry, said though the journey to a new minimum wage was long and tortuous, it was worth the trouble, effort, and sacrifice by all especially the workers.
“The new National Minimum Wage Act provides for the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage (TCNMW) which is now a standing Committee.
“It has expanded composition of membership and empowered to recommend new National Minimum Wage for the nation after every five years and comes to life six months before the end of the five years.
“So, the new law provides an opportunity for workers representatives to directly approach the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) on matters concerning non-compliance with the provisions of the new Act on National Minimum Wage.
“While the Trade Unions’ roles are now more prominent as they have powers to report infractions on behalf of their members and they can approach the NICN on behalf of their members,‘’ he said.
Ngige also said that the new law comes into effect from April 18, and hence all entities, States and Local Governments, including Private Sector employers are to start paying immediately.
He added that “we expect immediate discussions with the different Joint Negotiating Councils for consequent adjustments “upstairs” as a result of the movement from N18,000 to N30,000.
Also in a separate statement signed by Mr Nwachukwu Obidiwe, Special Assistant Media to Ngige explained why the minister was absent at the Worker’s Day celebration.
“I wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that the minister was absent at today’s Worker’s Day rally for reasons of ill health.
“The Minister has been down with flu since last Sunday. He met his doctors last Monday and has since been at home recuperating,‘’ he said.